DO//LOVE//WALK

Anxiety check for this Thankful Thursday

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Today I’m thankful for birds and bees, here’s why…

Have you looked at the birds today? Have you thought of who takes care of them? Who provides food for them? Who makes the bugs that they should eat?

Matthew 6:26 makes us turn our gaze towards the sky and look for the proof that will back up Jesus‘ statement. It raises the question of control. Who is really in control of life today, right this second? It’s not you for sure! You are not seeing that all the birds have enough water, or food or shelter, not even for yourself.

Even if we become anxious about all the birds in the sky, we cannot give them the next breath. That’s when we realize how powerless we really are! So why bother in being anxious? If we can’t even add a single hour to our lives?

Why add anxiety to our hours, if we can choose to add joy to our day!

This whole passage of Matthew 6 is a big reality check. The climax is when Jesus says we should not be anxious about our life. How does He convince us that it is not profitable or something we ought to do? Well, He makes us realize our littleness. We are but a vapor and He is in control of the whole world.

When we worry, the least thing we think about is BIRDS. Or FLOWERS, or the other millions of people in the world, we just focus on SELF. What we need, what we are missing, our troubles, our lack of “you-name-it”. So to get us to stop being self-centered Jesus just invites us to look up, look outside and look to Him.

We are not the only ones on earth, yet, God is still in control of everyone and us at the same time! He makes His point so clear that bringing up something so trivial like lilies of the field, something we do not worry about, but still need care, breaks any reasons we might have to defend our worry or anxiety.

I am not writing this as an expert on dealing with anxiety, I write this because I need to preach it to myself too! And I thought someone else might need to be reminded of this. So I hope you enjoy todays little reminders of Who really is in control of your life!

What makes you anxious the most? 
What else helps you exchange anxiety with joy?

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

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DO//LOVE//WALK

Prayer Requests and the things I cannot do

The other day I was praying out of my huge list of prayer requests.

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To have a better control of my prayers I use (and love) the Reminders‘ app provided by Apple. There I can register a request under a specific list and then when God has answered it I mark it as completed. By the way, there is also a Completed List in the App which makes it easier to remember the many answered prayers and remind yourself that God indeed is active, He does answer our prayers and works for His glory! (I might expand on my prayer list system on another day 🙂 )

Since things to pray for come up throughout the day I usually tend to carry my iPod everywhere, this way I can keep my prayer requests updated. So I end up reviewing this list almost 5 times a day, it’s part of my life! This special list is filled with other people’s names and has a variety of issues that I pray about. For example:

Prayer list

These are the most general ones, others have names, dates, specific facts etc.

My requests might seem for the best interest of others and that I care for God’s glory ultimately. So, I think that what I’m asking God is legitimately good, honorable, true, and would ultimately work for His praise. I mean isn’t it good for a teenage boy who ran away from home to go back to his parents’ care? Wouldn’t it show God’s power in restoring a marriage? Doesn’t it display God’s love and care in keeping all the churches in México on sound doctrine and with a fervent passion for His kingdom? Wouldn’t this make others see His glory and holiness, and want to praise Him even more? At least this is what my near-sighted view lets me think.

The problem comes when some of those requests are not answered. It most likely meant God had bigger and better plans. But…How do I respond to that? How do I respond to God’s timely silence, or His sovereign ‘no’? There are a number of ways I could be reacting to this, but yesterday’s response was simply this…I acknowledged a simple, basic truth which is essential to the Christian living. We learn this the moment God regenerates our spirit, and we need to be reminded of it, over and over. For me it was yesterday.

This is what I prayed and acknowledged before God…

God here are the things I cannot do:

I cannot change people’s minds, I was never able to do so, today is no different.
I cannot direct the heart, where it might turn or go, I could never do it, now even less.
I cannot keep my loved ones safe from harm, from falling into temptation, I could never do it, I can’t even now.
I cannot control the way anyone thinks of me or my family, I never could, now even less.
I cannot make people see the blessings missed out because of sin, I couldn’t before, now even less.
I cannot make love spring from a heart, I am completely incapable.
I cannot produce any godliness, I couldn’t then, now even less.
I cannot make people rejoice in You or seek Your love again, I simply cannot.
I cannot control who will cross paths with who, I never controlled this in my life even.
I cannot control the past I can’t control the present nor the future.
I cannot make others taste and see that it is good to trust God, I can’t even control my next breath!

Only God can do all that!!

What kind of power is that!! Even if I pray the most selfless, God-honoring prayer, it will always be God acting and not me. Thankfully He hears our pleas and gives ear to our requests, He invites us to approach His throne of grace so that we might receive help and mercy in our time of need! So I started praying in light of that, I know I cannot…that’s why I come to You… It was refreshing and liberating, He is the One that carries our burdens because He cares for us!

Our security is not found in being in control, but being under the control of the One whose purposes can never be defeated -Dr. Bill Thrasher

 

God controls our hearts, He controls our steps, our thoughts, our mistakes, our growth, our life!
We are subject to His grace, to His favor, and we can rest and trust Him because He is love, He is merciful and the greatest Comforter!
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DO//LOVE//WALK

Blog Extreme Makeover 2: What I don’t want this blog to be about

what I dont want this blog to be about

Last week I wrote Extreme Makeover: Blog Edition, as I was looking to the 28 days of NaBloPoMo ahead of me. I gotta say, it was a bit overwhelming given the fact that I had only written 30 posts in all 2 and a half years of this blog!

Talk about poor blogging!

Seriously! Do I need to emphasize on the size of the challenge this is for me? It’s like I subscribed for a marathon without previous training. Oh well, it’s day 8 and I’m surviving so far. But as I will be writing considerably more from now on, I need to rethink of what this blog is all about. During this first week of NaBloPoMo I have read a fair amount of new blogs and started following others.There is some pretty cool stuff out there! This has also helped me consider what others are doing good, what this blogging community is about, and some things I am not a fan of. Although I haven’t defined my goals yet, I think it’s equally important to know where I don’t want to end up. So I came up with these three main issues…

What I don’t want my blog to be about:

Me, me, me, me:

Even though this blog will only contain posts written by me, thought out by me and published by me (with seldom reblogs), I don’t want to be the center of attention, because the world does not revolve around me (shocker!). As a christian blogger, even my life is not just about me, it’s about my Savior, my God, my Comforter. I want to be bold about the Truth that changed my life. (more on this later) Another reason for this is… because I’m not witty enough to keep you hooked on me-stuff haha!

I know this will be a struggle, but a worthy goal to strive for nevertheless. You can keep me accountable with this. 🙂

Facebook status on steroids

Social Media is a hype these days, #Instagram, #Facebook, #Twitter, #Pinterest, #Tumblr, #Flickr, the list goes on and on. It’s like this generation is interested on promoting oneself. Have we fallen into a self-marketing culture? Have we become our own advertising agents? -Ok, maybe I got a little side tracked, this may be another post for another day.

Although I do want to be read, -that’s why I have joined the community, right?- what I don’t want is to be hunting for likes and follows. I’m more interested on the community, discussion etc. Long story short, this is not just about how the roller coaster I just rode got my hair undone or how I just sneezed 7 times in a row the expanded edition, not even about collecting ‘trophies’ although I think it’s kinda cute that WordPress has that! haha

This blog is not my imaginary friend:

Posting about every single thing that happens to me, or everything I think about, can come across as a little obnoxious. At least to me it would.  I have seen some blogs that are in the line of falling into this, and that’s ok because we all choose what we want to write about, and I can see it can be tempting. Specially when looking for things to write about every single day for a whole month. We I can fall into superficial posting pretty easily, instead, I want to be writing on relevant topics, but then again, even this can be very subjective. That’s why I still need to redefine the goals for this blog, but I’ll just say this, you can rest assured you won’t be getting updates as if this blog was my bff! Friends are friends and blog-friends are…blog-friends (Whoa!) We might visit each other’s blogs and may even post a comment, but life shared, true accountability, true love, raw forgiveness, intimacy can only be shared outside of a monitor, in face-to-face interactions.

Still, I want to be real, vulnerable and honest in here. We’ll see how that goes!

I guess you can say these three topics can be inclusive, even colliding at certain points, but to summarize it: I don’t want to write about me, myself and I, be self-promoting, or make this into my public-diary. All in all, I’m excited to see where God will lead this little blog. 🙂

What helped you define your blogging goals? And have you considered where you don’t want to end up with your blog, do you think it’s important to think of this, or just go with the flow and let your own writing carry you away?

 

 

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DO//LOVE//WALK

We can be someone else’s answer to prayer

to Whom shall we go

A couple of nights ago I was wallowing on how some prayers that were dear to my heart had not been answered, or the answer had been ‘no’. I was discouraged, focusing on the wrong things and having a pity party for myself. Silly, I know! But there I was being sad about things that didn’t really have to make me feel like that. Then I remember praying almost not wanting to be heard by God and not expecting an answer to this little secret prayer. I was realizing of my heart’s estate and wrong focus that I asked God to humble me and comfort me at the same time. I prayed while going upstairs, looking down, almost grumbling, I just exhaled that little simple prayer not giving it much thought. As I took the next step the phone rings and it’s for me!

My childhood friend that lives far away and had been battling a chronic disease was at the phone! It was a little bit of a surprise and not. The weekend before, her and her mom were supposed to come over and visit us, but they couldn’t. Two weekends earlier had been her birthday, and I missed it. I had to be the one calling her, but there she was waiting for me at the other end of the line.

It was such a pleasant conversation, she was so encouraging, she was doing better about her disease, she was being strengthened even through those fearsome trials in her life. We laughed and rejoiced, we talked about trials and even about some pleasant surprises! All in all a very edifying convo with her, as usual.

After I hung up, my heart was humbled, more like humiliated, and comforted. Did she know I needed that call? I’m not sure. But I trust a sovereign God, so there is no room for coincidences. God knows what I need, when I need it.

Today I needed to remember in a tangible way how God answers our prayers through other people. Other times He answers other people’s prayers through us. Through me. What a blessing that is! We can be His hands and feet, ears and eyes, arms and mouth for others to feel Him, to receive His love in a tangible way. May we keep humbling ourselves before Him who cares for us and looking for opportunities to love others as He loves them.

How have you been comforted lately in a tangible way?

 

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DO//LOVE//WALK

Fighting for Modesty

Captura de pantalla 2013-11-01 a la(s) 23.46.11

I know I already said last friday about Fall season making people wear modest clothes, but I don’t think it should stop there!

Modesty can be worn all-year-round.

Even though it is not praised by society now-a-days, it is worth fighting for! I respect and appreciate celebs when I see them respecting men and themselves in such a fashion. It says a lot about them and set’s a good example for other girls. And I say fight because I’m in it myself!

When you have to spend hours and hours going from store to store trying on piles of clothes too transparent or too tight. When you grab a shirt that turns out to be a dress or some skirts that look like they could be belts! You put those clothes on and wonder how many more layers will you have to buy until you finally feel dressed. Hanger after hanger, shop after shop, it can get discouraging. I mean, it’s almost as if the fashion industry had a lack of fabric material!

This is the battle. It requires patience, creativity and being persistent.

At least this is what I go through every time I go shopping. (Am I alone in this?) And I love shopping, I love fashion and trying new things, so I know the drill pretty well. But it is a struggle not to fall into the pattern, not to conform into this world’s image of a woman. Although it definitely makes you more resilient for what you believe, after all, you wear your belief system, your convictions, your theology.

Modesty doesn’t just happen, it has to be thought of – it’s a choice!

Every now and then I would find a new and exciting piece, something that would steal my heart and be completely modest! Oh what a happy feeling! It makes the quest worth it.

So do you think all this is worth it? or is it overreacting?

Are you in the same battle? would you encourage others to keep fighting for modesty? why?

Captura de pantalla 2013-11-01 a la(s) 23.47.00

I’m currently loving the midi rings and ankle booties! 🙂 a must this season!

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JOYFUL RAMBLINGS

Extreme Makeover: Blog edition

to Him Who is able

So, starting this #NaBloPoMo got me thinking about what it is that I wanted to get out of it.

Did I join to build community, to build an audience, to get more hits, just for fun, to win the mini-ipad or just to be able to go through with it because it seemed like something bloggers should do? Well, I can’t win the mini-ipad because I’m not a US citizen, so we can cross that off and it’s definitely not just for fun, it’s only the second day and I’m struggling to find time to sit down and write. For now I will just say I joined to commit to share more and be constant about it. Like for example, when it gets really hard to go out and run everyday, I sign up for a race to push myself and do it. My goal is not to win, or to improve my PR but simply to do it.

Yesterday and today I have been reviewing my first posts, my ‘about page’, everything…oh my! this is still a baby blog! I think I need some major makeover here, to really shape it. I realized I’ve been all over the place, writing about anything, disappearing for a while…

Somehow entering this challenge introduced me into this huge and active community blogging really is. So I want to take it for what it is. Up until this point my blog had been a one way street, but now I want to open up the conversation, open up dialogue, discussion and interaction.

I still don’t have a definite goal for this challenge, I don’t know if every blogger that joined this month does. But I cannot wait to see where this will lead. I don’t know what God has in store for this little blog, but I’m confident to see it through. (Be expectant of some major changes around here!!)

Hopefully by tomorrow I will write about something more relevant, or I will set up my goals for this monthly project. 🙂

See you tomorrow!

Have you joined #NaBloPoMo yet?

What are some of your motives or goals?

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DO//LOVE//WALK

Marriage is a Ministry

arbol familiar Rodríguez López 2013

Meet our Family Tree!

Last weekend our small family of 118 (so far) decided to have a REUNION!! #Rodrigada2013

I was thrilled to meet many cousins I had just heard of before. Although I had no idea at first of how many people we were talking about, I knew we would be more than a handful.

Sure enough we get to our dear Aunt/Uncle’s house and it’s already packed. They rented party tables, waiters, cooks, etc they did a great job being the hosts…but all this for a ‘simple family meeting’? Well of course! We had not been able to see some for decades, others we had not yet met, FAMILY is worth CELEBRATING! Uncles and cousins, great-aunts and grandparents, fathers and daughters, newly weds and those celebrating more than 50 years of marriage, there was a great mix, full of life, full of color and full of joy.

Of course we had to have MARIACHI!

Of course we had to have MARIACHI!

After meeting and greeting and hugging, we finally got started with the program. The oldest of my grandmother’s brothers gave some wise words to all of us. For some it was like a history class, learning a lot of facts about where we came from, and for others it was a sweet reminder. But one thing we all did for sure, we sat in awe of what a great ministry my great-grandfather(GGF) and great-grandmother(GGM) started.

We joined the Mariachi!

We joined the Mariachi!

 


Something that started with just the 2 of them. Later became a ministry of 100’s. Their children (6) heard of God, the Bible and the work of Christ in reconciling sinful men to God through the Cross, from GGF & GGM! It started with being faithful in their marriage, in their own relationship with God, then being courageous in confronting their children with this loving truth, and their children to their own children and so on, until the 4th generation!

THAT IS FAITHFULNESS!

More than celebrating family, differences, joys, tears, life…we were celebrating FAITHFULNESS. God was so merciful and faithful with our family that everyone of us (118) can say that we have heard of our great God!

In the end I understand that faith is personal and it starts with little daily decisions that will later on become life changing ones, faithfulness adds up into something marvelous worth celebrating! We are not a perfect family, but we have been taught about The One who is Perfect, our Savior and Father.

MARRIAGE IS MINISTRY

One of our aunts mentioned this verse…

Joshua 2.6-10

When Joshua dismissed the people, the people of Israel went each to his inheritance to take possession of the land. And the people served theLord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great work that the Lord had done for Israel. And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of 110 years. And they buried him within the boundaries of his inheritance in Timnath-heres, in the hill country of Ephraim, north of the mountain of Gaash. And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel.

All of this makes me wander, were GGF & GGM thinking of their great-grand children when they decided to teach their kids about God? Unfortunately I didn’t get to meet them to ask this question face to face, but I’m very thankful for their small acts of obedience that translated into blessings for their future generations! The amazing part of God’s faithfulness in the past is that we had nothing to do with it, we could not ask for it, but He IS faithful, He is faithful in the past, today and tomorrow. So I’m thankful for grace in our yesterdays, peace in our hearts today and strength for tomorrow, because His faithfulness never ends!

Now our responsibility as the newest generation, is to pray for each other, that we may keep beholding “all the great work that the Lord had done” for us and serve Him with our whole hearts. One day, if God allows us, we will start our own ministry as well!

Some of the bisnietas (great grand daughters)

Some of the bisnietas (great grand daughters)

Here are more verses about generations in the Bible,

Luke 1:50

And his mercy is for those who fear him

from generation to generation.

Psalm 106:31

And that was counted to him as righteousness

from generation to generation forever.

Psalm 79:13

But we your people, the sheep of your pasture,

will give thanks to you forever;

from generation to generation we will recount your praise.

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